George Price Day in Belize Date in the current year: January 15, 2024

George Price Day in Belize George Price Day is one of the newest public holidays in Belize, a small Central American country. The government of Belize established it in 2021 to honor the memory of the first Prime Minister of Belize, who is widely regarded as the Father of the Nation.

George Cadle Price was born on January 15, 1919 in Belize City, the capital of British Honduras. He went to Catholic schools and felt a call to priesthood upon graduation. Price continued his religious studies in seminaries abroad, first in the United States and then in Guatemala. However, the outbreak of World War II prevented him from completing his studies in Rome and being ordained. Despite not becoming a priest, Price remained a devout Catholic throughout his life.

Upon his return to Belize, Price began working as a secretary for Robert Sidney Turton, a local businessman. It was Turton who encouraged Price to start his political career. Price ran for the Belize City Council twice, in 1944 and 1947, losing the first time and succeeding the second time. In 1950, he participated in the formation of the People’s United Party, which supported constitutional reforms and the independence of British Honduras, and was named its Assistant Secretary. Rising through the ranks over the years, Price became the leader of the PUP in 1956.

In 1954, Price was elected to the newly created Legislative Assembly of British Honduras. He also served as Belize City mayor from 1956 to 1962. In 1961, Price became the first prime minister of the colony and immediately began negotiations over the independence of British Honduras with the British government.

Price was reelected in 1964 and eventually led the colony, renamed Belize in 1973, to its independence. After the proclamation of Belize’s independence in 1981, Price remained its prime minister for three more years, simultaneously serving as the country’s foreign minister.

In 1984, the People’s United Party lost the general elections to the United Democratic Party led by Manuel Esquivel, who became the new Prime Minister of Belize. Price also lost his seat in the House of Representatives and thus couldn’t be elected as the official Leader of the Opposition. However, he remained the PUP leader, successfully returned to the House after the 1989 election and resumed the post of prime minister.

Prince once again lost the general elections to Esquivel and his party in 1993. Three years later, he resigned as the PUP leader but remained a member of the House of Representatives for seven more years. In 2000, Price became the first person to be honored with the Order of National Hero, the highest honor of Belize, to recognize his contribution to the independence of Belize.

George Price passed way on September 19, 2011, at age 92. As the Father of the Nation, he was honored with a state funeral. In 2021, the government of Belize declared January 15, Price’s birth anniversary, as George Price Day. It is a public holiday marked by wreath-laying ceremonies and other memorial events honoring the first Prime Minister of Belize.

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George Price Day in Belize, public holidays, national holidays, holidays in Belize, George Cadle Price